Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefit Program (PPLBP)
The PPLBP was established under the 2004 Physician Services Framework Agreement. It provides eligible physicians with a pregnancy leave benefit for 9 consecutive weeks and a parental leave benefit for 8 consecutive weeks of up to a maximum of $1000 per week.
Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefit Program (PPLBP)
The PPLBP was established under the 2004 Physician Services Framework Agreement. It provides eligible physicians with a pregnancy leave benefit for 9 consecutive weeks and a parental leave benefit for 8 consecutive weeks of up to a maximum of $1000 per week.
Introduction

For almost 20 years, the OMA and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (the Ministry) have been helping physicians and their growing families by providing financial support to eligible parents. The Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefit Program (PPLBP) allows physician parents to take time away from their practices to recover from childbirth and/or spend time with their child after birth, adoption or surrogacy.

Background Information

Prior to 2000, maternity coverage for physicians was sparse and excluded those in private practice. To address this inequity, the OMA prioritized the development of a maternity benefits package for physicians and as part of the 2000 Physician Services Agreement (PSA), the OMA successfully negotiated funding for a new program, the Maternity Leave Benefits Program (MLBP). The MLBP provided female physicians with up to 17 weeks of paid maternity leave, with a maximum benefit amount of $880 per week.

The early program however, had limitations. It excluded adoption leave for non-biological parents and did not include a parental leave component for physician fathers. In response to member feedback and a clear interest in an expansion to the eligibility criteria, the OMA negotiated additional funding and substantial reforms to the program under the 2004 PSA. As part of this Agreement, effective April 1, 2005, the new PPLBP, with its expanded eligibility criteria and enhanced benefit amount (up to $1000 per week), replaced the MLBP.

The Current Program

The PPLBP is comprised of two components that provide eligible physicians with a pregnancy leave benefit of nine consecutive weeks and a separate parental leave benefit of eight weeks. The pregnancy leave provides female physicians (birth mothers) with the opportunity to take time away from work to recover from the physical and psychological aspects of pregnancy and childbirth and to establish breastfeeding. The parental benefit applies to natural and adoptive parents of both genders equally and may be taken any time up to 36 weeks following the date of birth, discharge from hospital, or adoption (can be taken in non-consecutive weeks). Birth mothers can take both pregnancy and parental leave for a total of 17 weeks.

If both parents are physicians, and meet the eligibility requirements, both are entitled to the full 8 weeks of parental leave. They have the choice of taking their parental leave at the same time or consecutively.

As with the MLBP program, the PPLBP is available to physicians who reside in Ontario, are registered with CPSO, and, within the six-month period immediately preceding the start date of leave, either received six months of eligible earnings, or completed a residency program in Ontario. As of October 1, 2007 (as per the 2007 Reassessment Agreement) the definition of eligible earnings includes the sum of OHIP payments, remuneration from an alternative funding arrangement, salary from an employer for the provision of medical professional services, income earned as a resident, and all other medical professional income. Physicians that practice in a capitation-based model can deduct any payments they made directly to a locum from their capitation payments.  A signed letter from the locum(s) must be submitted with the application that confirms coverage dates and the weekly locum payments.

The benefit amount is calculated as 50% of average weekly eligible earnings in the 12-month period immediately preceding the start date of leave, to a maximum of $1,000 per week. An eligible physician may earn up to $1,000 of additional income per week during the leave period, with any excess being deducted from the benefit amount.

If an eligible physician receives pregnancy or parental leave benefits from an employer or Employment Insurance (EI), the physician is entitled to a supplement (up to the maximum benefit amount permitted by the PPLBP), provided all other conditions of the program are met.

Deadlines

Pregnancy Leave Benefit: pregnancy leave form must be submitted to the Ministry no later than eight weeks after the child is born or discharged from hospital.

Parental Leave Benefit: The parental leave form must be submitted to the Ministry no later than 28 weeks after the child is discharged from hospital, or the date the adopted child is placed in the custody of the parent for the first time.

Expected date of birth:

Pregnancy Leave Application deadline:

Parental Leave Application deadline:

MOHLTC Information on the PPLPB Program

For more information regarding the program and the application package, please refer to the MOHLTC website: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/parentalleave/

Contacts:

Ministry of Health:

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefit Program pplbp@ontario.ca

Ontario Medical Association: Kate Damberger kate.damberger@oma.org